Maple Cream Truffles
Josh, the elder of my younger brothers, took a bite out of a store-bought chocolate the other day, and declared, “This is amazing! What is this delicious taste that is filling my mouth? I know it, I know that I know it, but I can’t think of what it is!”
It was a maple cream.
I made him some maple creams a few days later, and he ate all but two immediately. Those two he named Felix and Oscar, and he left them out for our parents to find when they got home that night. This recipe is almost too simple to bother posting, but Felix and Oscar were just so friendly that I wanted everyone to get a chance to meet them.
Maple Cream Truffles
Heavy cream (maybe)
As a rule, I prefer darker maple syrups for everything. Grade A Dark Amber is good, and Grade B is even better. If you don’t know the difference and you live in or around NYC, try stopping by the Farmer’s Market at Union Square sometime. There’s a table where they usually have the different grades of maple syrup out in little bowls with small pieces of waffle for people to dip in, so you can learn the difference.
However, lighter maple syrups tend to work better for making maple cream. It is a sad truth, but there it is. This is allegedly because darker maple syrup has too high a quantity of invert sugar for the creaming process to work. Whether or not that’s the reason, though, experience has upheld the result.
The first thing you want to do is prepare a large bowl filled with ice and ice-cold water. Next, fill the pot you will be using with water and boil it. Using a candy thermometer, note the temperature at which the water boils. Once you have that number, pour out the water and pour your maple syrup into the pot instead. Heat the maple syrup to about 22°-24° F above the boiling temperature of the water that you just noted.
Once the syrup reaches that point, immediately remove the pot from the heat and place it in the ice bath to stop the cooking process and lower it to room temperature. If the edges freeze, it is all right to put the pot back on very low heat to melt them a bit.
The maple cream is created by stirring the syrup as it cools down. This causes it to become thick and pale, with a creamy grainy texture. Depending on your maple syrup, it may help to add some heavy cream as you would when making caramel. The darker the maple syrup, the more likely adding heavy cream will seem necessary.
Temper your chocolate, and line your chocolate molds with a thin layer by filling them and then inverting them over a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow them to set, and then fill them with the maple cream. Cover the bottoms with more chocolate, and then allow them to set again. Impatient as I am, I always set my chocolates in the freezer. Once they are fully set, they will easily pop right out once you invert the mold and wobble it around a bit.